Member Spotlight: Dearbhaile

I’m delighted to bring you our Member Spotlight: this month it’s Dearbhaile!

Dearbhaile first stepped through our doors in 2015 and rejoined our community following a few years of travelling abroad. Since getting back into the ‘swing’ of things (I can’t help myself when it comes to a good pole pun) she has transcended physically and mentally in reclaiming as well as gaining new strength and flexibility. You’ll find her at the studio always ready to step up to the next challenge as well as encouraging those around her to do the same! We salute you Dearbhaile!

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“I decided to try pole dancing out back in 2015 because I was bored of pilates and going to the gym. I had tried a few classes before in a small gym back when I was 16 and had liked it but the teaching wasn’t great. I was studying my masters in translation technology at the time and needed an escape from sitting in front of my computer and a study break a few times a week. I was bored at home one day and decided to do a little Google search and voila! Found the Irish Pole Dance Academy!

Like many girls, I had attended dancing classes when I was younger – ballet, Irish dancing and hip hop. As I got older, school and college work took precedent and I wanted to change that. I enjoy exercising and wanted a new challenge. I had watched a lot of pole dancing videos and was always amazed at what these women could do. I fell down many rabbit holes watching endless trick videos and wanting to be able to do them too.

I battle a lot with how I view myself. Years of feeling insecure about how I look and how much I weigh, I was always the bigger friend in my group. Looking back on old photos, I now see I was the same size as everyone else, but people would also tell me I’d look nicer, better, prettier if I lost those few extra pounds. Maybe my brother and his friends would stop calling me ‘thunder thighs’ every time I walked by (here’s to still hoping!).

However, every time I’m at an Irish Pole Dancing Academy class, I feel comfortable and proud of my body. Each week I challenge it to do a different trick or spin – not always more physically challenging but mentally too! Every class I notice something my body couldn’t do the class before, or I’m more confident in a certain move. The workshops help a lot too! Pole dancing has not only helped me become more physically active and healthy but has helped me in the long journey of learning to love myself.

My pole goals are to basically never give up pole! It’s the first fitness that I never want the class to end. Leaving with limbs burning and aching from the class is such a thrill and you don’t want to leave until you get your new move (or nemesis!). I’ve made a good amount of progress since coming back in December and excited to see how much further I can get by the end of 2019!

I have many favourite experiences at IPDA, the main one that springs to mind is the community. The fun and positive attitude that’s always present in the studio. The instructors are amazing, always bubbly and just as ready and excited for the class as you are. The other members of IPDA are very supportive too! They’ll always give you a helping hand if you’re stuck or tell you a quick cheat into a trick you’re stuck in.

I left Ireland for 2 years and tried finding studios abroad, yet, they never had the same feeling. I moved back in late 2018 and the first thing I did once settled back into life was to ring up the IPDA and renew my membership.

For anyone who is nervous about starting their pole journey, I would tell them just to bite the bullet and sign up for your first class! You’ll meet an amazing group of women (and men) who are on the same journey as you. My friends and family are always in awe of what I can do when I show them photos and videos. It’s a brilliant and very impressive way to break out of your shell, regain or build self-confidence, all while getting fit!